University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Staudenraus v. Spitzer IM-NY-0042
Docket / Court No. 07-33872 ( State Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On October 7, 2007, the conservative group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New York taxpayer in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County, challenging New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's change to the state driver's license policy. Under the policy change, the state ... read more >
On October 7, 2007, the conservative group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New York taxpayer in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County, challenging New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's change to the state driver's license policy. Under the policy change, the state intended to dispense with the requirement that a driver's license applicant provide a valid social security number in order to receive a license. The policy, which was heralded as giving "all New Yorkers the opportunity to apply for driver's licenses without regard to immigration status," received national attention and became a focal issue for candidates during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign. The lawsuit alleged that the policy change violated the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law §§ 500 et seq. and the State Administrative Procedure Act, §§ 101, et seq.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the Governor decided to drop the change in policy, citing "pending lawsuits" and public opposition. The case is closed.

Elizabeth Daligga - 07/16/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Undocumented immigrants - state and local regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Governor of New York
New York Department of Motor Vehicles
Plaintiff Description Judicial Watch
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint and Summons 10/31/2007
IM-NY-0042-0002.pdf | Detail
Judicial Watch Files Taxpayer Lawsuit against New York Governor Spitzer, DMV to Stop Driver Licenses for Illegal Aliens 11/20/2007
IM-NY-0042-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aldrich, James B. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0042-0002
Borovina, Anton J. (New York)
IM-NY-0042-0002
Peterson, James F. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0042-0002
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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